Oct 29, 2012

Frugality in Retirement is a Must

Where is the road sign for Frugal?
Oh my gosh, retirement can be hard if we don't handle our finances in a responsible manner.  I talk about retirement finances a lot even though I am not an expert. It is always on my mind.  However, I rely on the experts when it comes to anything specific. However, when I am asked to write about "frugal" I can do that. I think I am the expert on that subject.

Late last week I wrote a blog on brainstorming about possible things we might do to make retirement possible. I talked about ideas that I thought might work for you if you could just be creative. However, in the end I said that you cannot retire by using coupons and that you much always spend less than you spend. Frugality is not about coupons; it is about lifestyle.

There are some specific things that experts have said on this blog.  This what we should all do to make sure we are on the right track:
  1. Not everything should be about "frugal". Be sure you have the right insurance. In the end, cut-rate insurance may cost you more.
  2. We need to be sure to check with an expert and get a finance analysis on our spending.  If we live on less than we make, we can save.  However, if we get a little help with that plan, we will be better prepared.
  3. Always be sure that your children are on board with your plans. This can be a huge problem if you don't address the issue now. Whether it is giving up the car keys or moving to a far off state because you can live more frugally there,  the children will want to be involved.
  4. Take a good hard look at the size of the house.There are expert that deal with seniors specifically.  They can be very helpful.
What does frugality mean to you? Is it just about groceries and clothing? I want you to think about all the things that frugality can involve. This what my husband and I do:
  • Take a hard look at your internet and TV usage. If you can do with just a little bit less, you can save a bundle. 
  • Travel on the shoulder of the season if you travel. This will save you a great deal of money and still be just as much fun.
  • Even though I say you cannot retire on coupon savings, I still think that you should always use them. You are a fool if you don't. Websites like Groupon, GolfNow.com, and Restaurant.com can have some great deals.  Everything from bark dust for the yard to eating at a fine restaurant becomes more affordable.
  • Be sure your bank is giving you all the benefits you are entitled to when you are retired. This one just makes good sense.
  • Use public transportation when possible. Seniors can ride our Max Lines here in the Portland Metro area for around $.75. No parking fees.
  • Shop smart...don't shop to keep yourself entertained. Have some kind of a dollar amount in mind before you even get in your car. I have found that if I go to the grocery for soap, I will come home with 5-10 other items.  It is not smart to do that.
I know that living frugally is a must...it always has been for us. If you are thinking that you cannot retire because you cannot live the "lifestyle to which you have become accustomed" it could be that you are accustomed to a lifestyle you cannot afford now let alone in the future.  Think about it.

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